Major Irish investment in clinical research set to create 3,000 jobs

As many as 3,000 jobs could be generated if the public and private sectors increased investment in clinical research infrastructure fourfold over the next five years, according to a new report. 

Future Investment in Clinical Research advocates for investment to deliver a significant increase in the number of international and multi-centre clinical trial conducted in Ireland to offering increased access to new emerging therapies in Ireland. 

In addition to thousands of direct and indirect jobs the report states that such stimulus could be worth gross value added of €200-300m per year. 

A new report calls for a fourfold increase in clinical research infrastructure over the next five years.

More specifically, it recommends the development of this strategic infrastructure over five years and calls for an initial investment of €22m into clinical research in the first year. It also confirms that the Biopharma and MedTech industries will match government investment. 

The report also highlights that, on average, each patient participating in a clinical trial will generate a benefit of €13,500 to the economy. Additionally, the health service benefits from medicines worth an average of €5,899 per patient for those participating in clinical trials. 

Experts from patient representative bodies, academia, clinical research centres, healthcare delivery, funding agencies and the Biopharma and MedTech industries contributed to the report, which was shared at a seminar in Dublin today. Such investment could create as many as 3,000 jobs.  

Professor Pat O’Mahony, chief executive of Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI): ‘Our life sciences sector has grown rapidly over the past half-century, to a point where it now has global significance. 

‘However, our clinical research system, infrastructure or performance do not compare with our growth in the manufacturing sector. A real opportunity exists here now, to enhance Ireland’s level of clinical research to its fullest potential.’ 

Speaking at today’s event, Avril Kennan, CEO of Medical Research Charities Group, said: ‘Investment in the clinical research system will bring economic benefits, will help boost a beleaguered HSE staff and, most importantly, will lead to better health and quality of life for the Irish people. 

She added: ‘The report represents not some vague hope for the future but the potential to make a real difference to our parents, our children, our friends and all those we hold dear.’

Professor Mark Ferguson, the government’s chief scientific advisor, welcomed the report and said it would benefit patients, health care professionals, entrepreneurs and the industry.